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Mark Wahlberg is no stranger to staying in action-star shape, but for his latest role – in Michael Bay’s comedy thriller Pain & Gain – the actor faced his toughest transformation to date.
Based on the real-life crimes of the ‘Sun Gym gang’, the film follows a trio of Miami trainers and bodybuilders (Wahlberg, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and The Hurt Locker’s Anthony Mackie) who team up to kidnap and extort one of their wealthy clients. As the clip above shows, though, their scheme doesn’t exactly run to plan…
To play ringleader Danny Lugo, Wahlberg had to pack on over 15kg of muscle in just eight weeks – no mean feat even for a seasoned gym-goer. Luckily, he had regular personal trainer Bryan Nguyen on hand to help.
“We have such a good base of core work that we do with all of our workouts, that when it came to actually bulk up on top, it was easy,” says Nguyen, who combined functional training like kettlebell squats, TRX rows and grueling loaded carries with old-school circuits of heavy isolation moves.
“In order to create mass like that, especially in the biceps and the shoulder, we had to break it back down into isolation machines,” he explains. “But I do attribute our success to our strong work with our core, because we had such a solid foundation to be able to go in there and grow that big that fast.”
Pain & Gain is released in cinemas nationwide on Friday 30th August.
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